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Idiomatic access to the eXist-db XML Database using XPath and XQuery

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EULexistdb is a Python module that provides utilities and classes for interacting with the eXist-db XML Database (tested against version 2.2) in a pythonic, object-oriented way, with optional Django integration.

eulexistdb.db provides access to an eXist-db instance through eXist’s XML-RPC API.

eulexistdb.query provides a QuerySet class modeled after Django QuerySet in functionality. This module provides model and manager classes that can be used to connect an eulxml XmlObject with the QuerySet class, in order to generate XQueries and return the results as XmlObject instances. However, configuring the XmlObject XPaths to make efficent XQueries against eXist and take advantage of the full-text index does require expertise and familiarity with eXist.

When used with Django, eulexistdb can pull the database connection configuration from Django settings, provides a custom management command for working with the collection index configuration index in the configured eXist database, and also provides a custom template tag that can be used to highlight full-text search matches.


eulexistdb currently depends on eulxml.

eulexistdb can be used without Django, but additional functionality is available when used with Django.

Contact Information

eulexistdb was created by the Digital Programs and Systems Software Team of Emory University Libraries.


eulexistdb is distributed under the Apache 2.0 License.

Development History

For instructions on how to see and interact with the full development history of eulexistdb, see eulcore-history.

Developer notes

To install dependencies for your local check out of the code, run pip install in the eulexistdb directory (the use of virtualenv is recommended):

pip install -e .

If you want to run unit tests or build sphinx documentation, you will also need to install development dependencies:

pip install -e . "eulexistdb[dev]"

Running the unit tests requires an eXist-DB database instance. Before running tests, you will need to copy test/ to test/ and edit the configuration for your test instance of eXist.

To run all unit tests:

nosetests test/ # for normal development
nosetests test/ --with-coverage --cover-package=eulexistdb --cover-xml --with-xunit   # for continuous integration

To run unit tests for a specific module, use syntax like this:

nosetests test/test_existdb/

To generate sphinx documentation:

cd doc
make html

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